MiB: Tom Rampulla, Vanguard’s Financial Advisor Services Director


This week, we speak with Thomas Rampulla, managing director of Vanguard’s Financial Advisor Services. The division provides investments, services, education and research to more than 1,000 financial advisory firms representing more than $3 trillion in assets. Rampulla has held a variety of management positions at Vanguard since he joined in 1988.

He discusses how before he interviewed with the Vanguard Group, he did not know what they did (he originally thought it was a supermarket chain).

He explains how the Vanguard Effect works: The firm’s mutual ownership structure means that all of their investors are owners of the firm; any profits from the business get reinvested into the company to make it more efficient and effective. Instead of paying dividends to shareholders, it is more tax efficient to lower fees of the funds held by their investors aka owners. The mere threat of Vanguard moving into a space drive prices lower.

He also explains what it was like working with Jack Bogle other legendary Vanguard CEOs.

A list of his favorite books is here; A transcript of our conversation is available here later this week.

You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, YouTube, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Marta Norton, Chief Investment Officer of Morningstar Investment Management. The firm manages directly or advises on $249.4B in client funds. She began her career as BLS economist, and before her current role, she was Head of U.S. Outcome-Based Strategies for Morningstar .



Tom Rampulla’s favorite books

Retail Gangster: The Insane, Real-Life Story of Crazy Eddie by Gary Weiss

The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe

Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis

A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing by Burton Malkiel

Winning the Loser’s Game: Timeless Strategies for Successful Investing, Eighth Edition by Charles Ellis


Books Barry mentioned

Trillions: How a Band of Wall Street Renegades Invented the Index Fund and Changed Finance Forever by Robin Wigglesworth

The Bogle Effect: How John Bogle and Vanguard Turned Wall Street Inside Out and Saved Investors Trillions by Eric Balchunas

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